The Rugby World Cup was first played in 1987 has since become a highlight on the sporting calendar. Public interest in the tournament has grown since union football was opened to professional players in 1995, and online bookmakers do roaring trade when the RWC rolls around every four years. Read on to find out more about betting on the Rugby World Cup, including which bookies have the best odds.
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How to bet on the Rugby World Cup
Every sport around the world has specific methods on how you can place a bet. The game of rugby union has its own unique quirks, but most of the generic sports betting markets still apply.
The best rugby bookmakers run dozens of betting markets for each RWC game. These can range from straight bets on the match result to the most exotic of proposition wagers. Popular options include:
• Match winner
• Match handicap
• Winning margin
• Over/under lines
• First half result
• Second half result
• First tryscorer
• Anytime tryscorer
If you plan on targeting the bigger picture, Rugby World Cup futures bets are the type for you. Rugby union betting sites open their tournament markets many months in advance, allowing punters to get great odds on outright winner bets, top tryscorer options, and all sorts of wagers for how far a team will progress. Common RWC futures bets include:
• Outright winner
• Name the finalists
• Pool winners
• Winning hemisphere
• Winning continent
• Top tournament tryscorer
• Top team tryscorer
2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan
The technology capital of the world, Japan, will host the ninth edition of the Rugby Union World Cup. Japan will be the first nation in Asia to host the RWC and only the second outside Europe and Oceania.
RWC 2019 will feature 20 teams within four pools, placing five teams in each pool. Every team in the same group will play each other once and the two nations with the most points will advance to the quarter-finals. The top three teams in each pool automatically qualify for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.
Every win is worth four points, while a draw returns two points to each side.
Pool A – Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Russia, Samoa
Pool B – New Zealand, South Africa, Italy, Namibia, Canada
Pool C – England, France, Argentina, United States, Tonga
Pool D – Australia, Wales, Georgia, Fiji, Uruguay
The 2019 Rugby World Cup will begin on September 20, with the final scheduled to take place on November 2 at International Stadium Yokohama.
2019 Rugby World Cup odds
It is no surprise to see the All Blacks top the Rugby World Cup outright betting as they aim for their third consecutive title. England and South Africa start the tournament on the second line, while there is still some love for Wales despite the betting scandal surrounding backs coach Rob Howley. Ireland is also in the mix, with Australia and France rounding out the likely contenders.
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Rugby World Cup history
New Zealand reigns supreme when it comes to success on the world stage, winning three out of eight championships since 1987. No nation has been able to knock off New Zealand since 2011, as the All Blacks won both the 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cups.
Getting through the group stages can be a challenge for many teams, but there are some that are yet to fall short in that department. Since 1987, three teams have made the quarter-finals each year: New Zealand, Australia and France.
Australia and South Africa share second position in the championship tally, with both nations notching two victories. The Wallabies, however, have also finished runners-up twice, while the Springboks have a 100 per cent record from their two final appearances.
England is the only other nation to have tasted glory on the big stage, which occurred back in 2003 when the Brits defeated Australia in an epic final in Sydney. England was the first country from the Northern Hemisphere to win a Rugby World Cup.
Australia at the Rugby World Cup
Australia has always fought hard in the sporting universe and the Rugby World Cup is no different. As one of the more established countries competing, the Australians have built a tough reputation, placing them in the top echelon within the rugby food chain.
As one of the only three countries to always progress through the first stage, Australia has a long list of accolades, starting with the obvious two victories in 1991 and 1999. Both of those tournaments were played across five Northern Hemisphere countries, England, France, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The Wallabies played their group games in Wales in 1991 and beat England in the final, while in 1999 they spent the majority of the tournament in Ireland before downing France in the decider.
Australia has not tasted glory since ’99 and will have to put together a big performance to win this year. Israel Folau is one of the world’s best players, but a recent scandal has ruled him out completely. The Wallabies have never been deterred in the past and should push through with gusto, as they have for the last eight Rugby World Cups.
List of previous Rugby World Cup winners
- Host: New Zealand and Australia
Winner: New Zealand
The inaugural Rugby Union World Cup was completely one-sided in favour of New Zealand, who did not lose a single match on its way to the championship. The final three matches en route to the championship game were won by incredible margins, with no opponent able to score more than nine points against the All Blacks. The final was eventually won against the France with a scary 29-9 score line.
- Host: England, Wales, France, Ireland, Scotland
The 1991 World Cup was much more balanced than the 1987 iteration, with stronger teams in the tournament and better-quality matches throughout. Australia beat Ireland by a single point in the first match of the knockout round, allowing it to progress onto New Zealand. The Wallabies knocked off the reigning champs and just got over the line against England to win the World Cup.
- Host: South Africa
Winner: South Africa
Runner-up: New Zealand
The RWC debuted outside of Europe and Oceania in 1995, with the proud nation of South Africa hosting and winning the cup. This cup is famous for Nelson Mandela’s involvement with his team, wearing a national guernsey whilst presenting the Springboks with the Webb Ellis Cup.
- Host: Wales
This World Cup would be the first time that the 16-team competition expanded to 20 teams. Not only was the competition expanded, it was the first time that the game would be played under the newest professionalism rules, which removed all prior restrictions on payments and benefits. Australia won its most recent championship in this year against France by 23-points, 35-12.
- Host: Australia
Australia independently hosted the 2003 World Cup and nearly secured the victory, falling short against England in a dramatic final at Stadium Australia. Nothing could separate the two old rivals at full time, and it took a famous drop goal from Jonny Wilkinson in extra time to clinch a three-point win for the Brits.
- Host: France
Winner: South Africa
France was finally granted the honour to host the Rugby World Cup, hoping to finally win the championship after losing two previous finals. It was not to be for the French as they blew out in the Semi-Finals and eventually lost to Argentina in the battle for bronze. South Africa were too strong, having both the top scorer and top tryscorer.
- Host: New Zealand
Winner: New Zealand
The 2011 Rugby World Cup was the largest sporting event ever held in New Zealand, which supplied countless unbelievable matches. The final game was won by New Zealand by a single point, making it the closest ever final margin for a World Cup Final. Once New Zealand were given the rights to host, you could pencil them in to at least finish with a medal.
- Host: England
Winner: New Zealand
New Zealand completed what had never been achieved before at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, winning back-to-back titles. The All Blacks were simply unstoppable in their run towards their third championship, beating the Runner’s up 34-17 in the final. New Zealand is in prime position to win three consecutive World Cups.
Best online bookmakers for RWC betting
There are dozens of online bookmakers around these days, but which are the best for Rugby World Cup odds? The licensed bookies below all run hundreds of RWC betting markets and offer great odds, secure banking and superior customer service. We recommend signing up at all of them so you always get the best price available.
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